Gafcon 2018 in Jerusalem: Thoughts from AFM’s Executive Director
Originally posted at: https://anglicanfrontiers.com/gafcon-2018-in-jerusalem-thoughts-from-afms-executive-director/
by Christopher Royer
I was privileged to attend Gafcon (June 17-23) in Jerusalem with almost 2,000 Anglican Christians from fifty countries. Gafcon, which stands for Global Anglican Future Conference, is a quinquennial meeting of theologically-orthodox and biblically-faithful Anglicans. The first Gafcon occurred in Jerusalem (2008) and the second in Kenya (2013).
Outstanding teaching, daily intercessory prayer in small groups with Christians from around the globe, and inspiring worship characterized this conference. The Nigerian delegation numbered almost one-fourth of all attendees, and a Nigerian choir—with different costumes every day—led us in musical worship. Over the week I observed just how much the demographic center of the Anglican Communion has shifted: no longer Western Europe and North America, but Africa. And African spirituality is contagious: simple (but not simplistic) with child-like faith, passionate, and audacious in prayer.
The rallying cry of Gafcon was, “We will proclaim Christ faithfully among the nations.” Great emphasis was given to sharing and imitating Christ in our own families, cities, and nations- a call which we should all respond to. Sadly though, not a single plenary session focused on unreached people groups, those with no Christian representation in the Anglican Communion or any other denomination.
Thus, while I left Gafcon incredibly thankful for biblical orthodoxy, emerging cross-cultural partnerships, and the sweet presence of the Spirit gently nudging us to a deeper obedience, I also walked away re-committed to advocate for unreached peoples and send laborers to reach them. Jesus died for all 17,017 ethne nations of the world, and according toJoshua Project, the church still has 7,087 more to reach until Jesus can bless us with his return. So, let us all put our hands to the plough and keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus as we reach all the ethne nations for which he died, thereby hastening his second coming.Maranatha, Maranatha!
Until all have heard,
Executive Director, AFM